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A lot of music listeners may not realize what hyperpop is when they listen to it, but the genre is one that is becoming popular again thanks to artists such as Charli XCX and Kim Petras. Listening to this genre is almost like hearing a chaotic DJ set, with rattling bass and usually tons of auto-tuned vocals, creating an exhilarating high that leaves one feeling confident and carefree.
There are many artists who have helped pave the way for hyperpop to be in the mainstream, and since it’s important to give credit where it’s due, here are five hyper-pop legends that have helped shape the genre:
While Charli XCX started off as a traditional pop star back in 2014 with songs such as “Boom Clap” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” the singer took a 180 in her sound when she started working with legendary producers such as SOPHIE and A.G. Cook, allowing her to grow into the artist that she is today. The singer’s key examples of perfected hyperpop are clear in songs such as the fan-favorite “Vroom Vroom” and “I Got It (feat. Brooke Candy, CupcakKe and Pabllo Vittar),” all containing insane production quality and sounds that are now famous within the genre. If it wasn’t for Charli XCX’s musical transition, a lot of artists mentioned in this article would not be following in her footsteps, a sign that the singer is one who is an innovator, not a trendsetter in her sound.
Sadly, music producer SOPHIE passed away in 2021, but her legacy is one that should be recognized for their work with artists like Charli XCX and Madonna. The producer was seen as a trailblazer in her field after being nominated for “Best Dance/Electronic Album” at the 2018 Grammy Awards, one of the first openly transgender musicians to be recognized in this category. You can thank SOPHIE for songs such as Madonna’s “B*tch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)” and Charli XCX’s “Vroom Vroom,” proof that the producer truly was able to merge the genres of electronic club and pop music together flawlessly.
Kim Petras may be dipping her toes in pop music right now after being featured on Sam Smith’s “Unholy,” but the German singer has always chosen to make a statement within her music, definitely noticeable on past tracks such as “Throat Goat” and “Coconuts.” Recently being the first transgender artist to go No.1 in the United States, Petras is critically acclaimed for her ability to adapt to any genre she chooses to pursue. Yet, her most worthwhile tracks break the boundaries of stereotypical pop, especially with songs she’s made with Charli XCX. Tracks such as their collaboration on “Unlock It (feat. Jay Park)” and “Click (feat. Tommy Cash)” show Petras’s ability to put her confidence on full display, with vocals dripping in autotune. Not afraid to hit a high note with synths and bass bumping in the background, Kim Petras is another artist that has truly shaped the hyperpop genre with her boldness and confidence.
Even though Grimes may be most famous for her candidness, especially after mentioning she ate only spaghetti for two years, as well as her past relationship with Elon Musk, she still is an icon in the hyperpop genre. The Canadian singer is best known for songs such as “Genesis” and “Oblivion” from her 2012 album “Visions,” but there’s a reason these songs in particular are the blueprints for hyperpop musicians. Essentially, Grimes’ brand is weird, and she fully embraces this notion in her music, using production that sounds other-worldly. Hyperpop is known for almost sounding alienated in a literal sense from other genres, and Grimes has always used this to her advantage, solidifying her as one of the artists who revived the genre back in the early 2010s.
A.G. Cook is an underrated figure in the music industry, responsible for allowing artists to bring out the strange sides of their musical thoughts and sound. A producer for artists such as Charli XCX and Hannah Diamond, he has been a major inspiration within the genre, especially for artists such as 100 gecs. Back in 2021, the producer was asked by Lady Gaga herself to be featured on “Dawn of Chromatica,” taking her song “911 (feat. Charli XCX)” and turning it into his own. Obviously, A.G. Cook is someone who is a hot commodity in and outside of the mainstream, and there’s no doubt that his impressive track record has allowed him to become a major figure in the world of hyper-pop.